A New Toastmasters Pathway

I am taking a break today from going through my posts on project management to talk about another subject that is near and dear to me:   Toastmasters.   Today is the day that the new Pathways educational program arrives here in District 103 of Toastmasters International in the Chicagoland area.

The educational program as it existed before consisted of four educational award levels (Competent Communicator, Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Communicator Silver, and Advanced Communicator Gold) and three leadership award levels (Competent Leadership, Advanced Leadership Bronze, Advanced Leadership Silver).   If you complete all seven of those levels, then you get the crowning achievement of Toastmasters as an individual, the designation of being a Distinguished Toastmaster.   I joined Toastmasters at the very end of December 2010, so a little more than 7 years ago.  I followed the educational program and, step by step, award by award, finally became a Distinguished Toastmaster in the Spring of 2016.

Since then, I have been waiting patiently for the new Pathways educational program to arrive because I knew I wanted to start from square one again and become a Distinguished Toastmaster again.   It would be as if I were given a chance to go back to college and avoiding all of the mistakes I made the first time around.    So instead of graduating Summa Cum Lousy, this time I’ll graduate Summa Cum Laude!

Pathways is about getting a customized learning path that is geared towards your interests, essentially the answer to the question “What is it you hope to gain from joining Toastmasters?”   Some people want to become professional speakers; some people want to become trainers, coaches, or better mentors; some people want to use the confidence gained in the program to become better leaders.   That latter was my interest, and after the assessment, it chose the pathway of Dynamic Leadership as being the most appropriate.   Each pathway consists of 5 different levels, rather than the 3 or 4 in the previous educational program, and you have to complete 2 pathways in order to become a Distinguished Toastmaster.

But like everybody else in the District, I am starting at square one, so I now am going back to the Toastmasters International website to start my journey.   In the past half-dozen years or so in Toastmasters, getting my first Distinguished Toastmaster award has led to several leadership positions, including being a leader in my church (I am the President of the Board of Trustees), being a leader in our local Project Management Institute chapter (as the Director of Certification and then Director of Executive Council), and of course within Toastmasters itself (as Division Director).    With the new Dynamic Leadership program as my focus area in the new Pathways program, where will my pathway towards my next Distinguished Toastmaster designation lead me?

I can’t wait to find out!



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